Everything started to come together in the spring of 2013. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Graduation was only a few short months away. Okay, so maybe it was more like ten months, but it certainly didn’t seem like that long. My then boyfriend, now husband, and I moved into our first place together in March, and I got the Marketing and Sales Internship that set me up for the perfect job with the Houston SPCA. After graduating in December, I had a Bachelors of Science degree in Agriculture Leadership and Development with an emphasis in Animal Science.
But I couldn’t just up and leave quite yet. I still had five months left at my internship. The Marketing and Sales Internship equipped me with so much more than I could have asked for. I built upon my relationship building strengths, and created a substantial network of peers, professors, and mentors. I was able to hone my communication skills, and how I interact with the public and potential customers. And finally, I was able to see interdepartmental communication and operations, also the interaction of one outside agency with another outside agency.
This allowed me to see what worked and didn’t work in order to create ideas and plans for any future jobs I would have. After the five months had pasted, I put in my application to Houston SPCA. Ever since I saw an episode of animal cops, I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. I have always wanted a career with purpose and I though why not join that with my love for animals. I absolutely love getting up and coming to work everyday. No day is ever the same, and so I am constantly learning and building my knowledge and skills. Also, by coming to work, I am able to fight injustice for those who can’t fight for themselves.
Presently, I am in my dream job. I am the President of the Houston SPCA. I am able to be involved with every aspect of our organization. Everything from cruelty calls, to media and publications, and community outreach to shelter maintenance, I have my hand in. Now, I am not saying I am a Theory X kind of person, that is in everything because I like to dictate and watch over everyone. That is not a pleasant experience. I have my hand in everything because I love the job. It also allows me to stay connected with my staff and volunteers to make sure their needs are being met as well.
Now have the title of President may sound glamorous, but I had to work my way up the chain of command just like everyone else. My first job at the shelter was as an animal behavior specialist. In this position, I not only helped rehabilitate our shelter animals, but I also did a great deal of socialization with our clients as well. I really liked to sit down and get to know a family before they adopted a pet. This allowed me to suggest the best possible animal match for the both the family and the animal to be adopted. If everyone left happy then I had done my job well.
This is something I learned back in Marketing and Sales Internship. As the President of the Houston SPCA I can have some very strange, and sometimes inconvenient hours. But thankfully, I have a wonderful family that not only supports me, but they love my job as much as I do. My husband, the boyfriend I moved in with in March, and I have known each other since daycare days. I went to his mother’s daycare, we went to the same high school, and we worked and the same summer job. However, although I knew him and knew who he was, I didn’t really know him.
Our friendship grew while we worked together, and our friends always whispered in our ears about the possibility of us taking our relationship to the next step, but neither of us was brave enough to say anything. That is until my first semester at Texas A&M. Don’t get me wrong; my first semester at school was great. I was away from home and at the school I wanted to be at, but something was missing. At first, I couldn’t pinpoint it, and ironically enough, I was talking to my husband about it. God finally got tired of waiting on us to admit how we really felt about each other, so he pushed a little harder.
For some reason, I suddenly found the courage to tell my husband how I felt and ask if he felt the same. And, well he did, but it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows after that. We both knew we had feelings for each other, but weren’t sure we wanted to risk our friendship and take things to next level. At this point, God didn’t just push us a little bit harder, He shoved. It was a defiant, I brought you two together for a reason, so stop fighting me, get your butts in gear, and let my plan unfold, kind of moment. And, I am so thankful each and everyday that God put this amazing man in my life. He helps balance me out.
He is an honest, trustworthy, hardworking man that does anything and everything to provide for his family. Family, I have always been apart of a family, but its weird to actually say I have my own family now. Yes, that’s right; a husband, three kids, numerous pets all situated on a 15-acre ranch outside of Houston. Now, I am not saying I didn’t expect to have a family. I have always wanted to be a wife and a mother. It’s just weird the time has already come. But once again, God has blessed me. We chose to live on a ranch because both my husband and I have always wanted to live in a place with land and animals.
As a girl, we had the land, but never any animals except for our family dogs, which were inside dogs. We wanted to be able to have animals, to plant gardens, and to just have room. We felt it was vital for our family to be able to separate from the hustle and bustle of the city, and just slow down. There is a downside to living on the ranch sometimes though. Because there is always something to do, and there are always mouths the feed, it is difficult to get away and take “vacations”. But, my philosophy is, if you love what you do, then it’s not work, and if you are not working, then who needs a vacation?
I guess that it the key to it all. I finally stopped worrying about finding a job. I took a step back, and asked myself what I wanted from life. Did I simply want a paycheck, a means to an end, or did I want a career that fueled my passion? And when I finally decided to let it all go, and do something that made me happy, things fell into place. I am not saying it was easy; there were some bumps along the road. But I worked through them. With the support and encouragement of my family, I put my faith in God; I took action and turned my dream into a vision.
Courtney from Study Moose
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